Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blogging Tips for Photographers 101 (Pt. 3): 10 Ways to Come Up with Interesting Blog Content

When it comes to blogging, the greatest struggle for photographers seems to be coming up with new (and interesting) content. You want to blog but you don’t know what to write about. NEWSFLASH! No one is expecting you to come up with genius blog ideas on your own. Your brain will run out of organic ideas fast so instead of bashing your forehead against your keyboard, it's time to start relying on outside sources. Stop trying to THINK of new ideas and start trying to FIND new ideas. Here are my favorite ways to find new blog content:

1. Ask other people for topics you can blog about. Ask family/friends to ask you questions about your business/art (both people in & out of your industry). What are they wondering? Even little things like "Why do you always do photo shoots in the morning?"
2. Be a sneaky duck and read through the comments on other people’s blogs. Find the questions people are asking and answer them yourself, sharing YOUR perspective/technique/opinion etc.. on your own blog IN YOUR OWN WORDS. *REMEMBER: You're answering a question...not stealing an answer.
3. Look for news & events in your industry & the wider world that inspire conversation.
What are people talking about on the radio this morning? Use Google alerts and have it send you updates whenever someone publishes news with keywords like “photography” or “portraits” etc… Comment on these articles, contribute to the global industry conversation.
4. Look for questions in social media groups
(like photographer's groups on Facebook) Answer the questions in a blog and post your blog link on the group page.
5. Keep a list of your own questions.
What do YOU want to learn about. Instead of waiting for someone else to blog about it, do the leg work, research, experiment, ask experts, share your findings on your blog. Now who's the expert!

6. Ask your own readers what they like most about your blog, what they’d like to see more of, and what they wish you would write about. It helps if you have contact with your audience through a newsletter and social media. I got ALL my inspiration for this blog series from my audience. I asked and you answered — thank you!! :D

7. Keep an ongoing list of topics you could blog about one day. Every single possible idea you have. Write it down. Even the stupid ones. You’re going to come up with lots of worthless junk but you’re panning for gold here = lots of stinkin' sand and just a couple nuggets of sparkle!

8. Respond to someone else's blog. Right about the same topic but improve upon it, add more info, do more research and go more in-depth. Don't be afraid to stir up some controversy - that's what makes things interesting. Don't be afraid to say, "I disagree..."

9. [My personal favorite] Eavesdrop on people. When you’re in a cafe, walking down the street, waiting in line at the supermarket, you’ll be surprised at all the crazy ideas their chit chat inspire. So many of my blog posts started as a random sentence I overheard at Starbucks.

10. State the facts, the cold hard truth.
Talk about what you’ve been doing, what's been on your mind (constantly), what you’re worrying about all day/night, what projects you’re working on this week, projects you dream about working on, what new workflow systems you’re developing, how you planned your last photo shoot, how you edit your photos, why you like your photos, how you found your last client etc… Stop trying to impress everyone with lofty content and come down to earth. Just state the facts of your life — the stuff that seems obvious and boring to you. People love it.

Do any of these tips help you?
What's your favorite tip for coming up with new blog content?

Check out other parts of this blog series:
Part 1: Challenges of Blogging for Photographers
Part 2: SEO
Part 4: The Pretty Journal Syndrome